Parliament Buildings: Internet

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland Assembly Commission – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:30 pm on 29th November 2016.

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Photo of Alex Attwood Alex Attwood Social Democratic and Labour Party 3:30 pm, 29th November 2016

I thank the Member for his question. I hope that he does not press me on the technical details. In 2011, the Assembly Commission procured and installed its own dedicated Internet connection to provide better and more consistent access to the Internet for all Parliament Buildings users. The service was originally provisioned at 20 megabits per second. Due to increasing demand, it was increased to 40 megabits per second in February 2013. In September 2014, a further additional line was installed to provide resilience. At that time, the line speed was increased to 80 megabits per second overall. Since 2011, the service provided has been upgraded three times.

Since the new connection in 2014, the Assembly has benefited from significant additional bandwidth. Information Systems (IS) Office staff proactively monitor the status of the Internet connection. At present, the Assembly Commission and the IS Office are not aware of any major problems with the Internet in the Building, although there are surges in use at various times; there can be about 900 different users on the Internet at one time in the Building, which might cause momentary or transitional difficulties. However, as far as the Commission and the IS Office are aware, there is no major reason for concern.